This is a continuing story and will be updated as new details develop during the trial. Keep checking back for the latest information available. Updates from previous days are at the end of this report. Live streaming of the trial is here.

Hours 7-8, Hour 6

Jury deliberation began at the start of hour seven and continued into hour eight. Upon returning to the courtroom, the jury stated that they had reached a verdict.

Hour 6, Day 6

In her closing argument, the prosecution outlined the timeline of events leading up to the murder, including reports, lists of calls, security footage and records of times the cameras around the house were turned off.

The defense’s closing argument cited the fact that Earl Howard did not come to the stand as the major cause of concern, and citing reasonable doubt that Nikki could not be seen as a co-conspirator without a testimony from the prime suspect implicating her.

Hour 5, Day 6

Before the jury was welcomed back into the courtroom, the attorneys debated over the inclusion and withdrawal of evidence.

The defense opted to not call any witnesses to the stand, and closing arguments began.

Hour 4, Day 6

Court adjourned for lunch.

Hour 3, Day 6

As the interview continued, Nikki stated the duo wanted to move to Texas because Earl had family there, and proceeded to say she was ‘too busy’ to answer the calls from Chad’s workplace when they. Nikki also lied to the workplace and said that Chad was at home after ‘drinking games’ (described by Nikki as abuse).

Nikki also stated that Earl told her to call 911 following the murder, and that Earl purchased the other phones found in the car. Nikki also said it was Earl’s idea to log into the secuirty cameras, and she did not know how to. She also claimed to not know Chad’s IPad password.

Following a short break, another interview with Silbernagel was conducted, where he helped to explain some of the quotes that were difficult to hear in the video. Silbernagel explained that Entzel stated Earl told her to return to the vehicle. When asked why burning the house down was part of the plan, she stated Earl was going to do so to prevent investigators from finding any information. Nikki also confirmed that she and Earl had slept naked.

Silbernagel also stated she believed that Earl’s ex-wife Allison was abusing their daughter.

When Nikki was asked why she didn’t just leave, Earl had told her that people who beat women don’t deserve to live.

Following Silbernagel’s testimony, a lunch break was called. The prosecution and defense also discussed the ideals of Entzel testifying.

Hour 2, Day 6

In the interview, Nikki stated that Earl planned the murder, and had been planning it since she first met him, with him stating that Earl “knew what he was doing” in manipulating the furnace. Nikki claimed Earl never told her what went wrong regarding the furnace or the murder. She restated Earl saying “the less you know, the better” when leaving the scene of the crime. Nikki also reported that Earl went back to the house alone while Nikki went to work, though this was disproven by police footage.

An analysis of Nikki’s steps using her Apple Watch noted that Nikki was moving during the time of the murder. She retold her own story of hearing the gunshots, saying there was a five to ten-minute gap between each shot. Nikki went on to state that Earl put the propane tank in the house, and later placed the liquor bottles in the bedroom . Nikki also restated that Chad did drink, though not in the same level as she had originally stated. She later recounted seeing Chad’s dead body in the bedroom, before confessing that Earl set up the room. Nikki also stated she washed her clothes after the visit, though this was claimed to be just a routine wash.

When questioned as to why Earl would have had Nikki come with him if he stated he ‘did not want her to know about this’ by police, Nikki was not able to give a solid answer. She stated that she did not take the policy out for the money but later recounted this.

Nikki reportedly said that she did not know what the plan would be if the house failed to burn down.

Hour 1, Day 6

Aaron Silbernagel was called back to court in the morning, where he recounted the events and interview after Nikki Entzel was placed under arrest. A full recording and transcript was provided of the interview, although the transcript was blocked after an intervention from the defense.

Sound issues were reported, and a majority of the hour was dedicated to fixing them. The recording eventually began, and Nikki began to discuss her relationship with Chad, claiming he was abusive and sought to leave, and had attempted to do so multiple times (with one attempt ending in getting her wrist broken). In the interview, Nikki recounted her own story of the nights leading up to Chad’s murder, where she claims she saw Earl with a shotgun and then went to stay in the car for over an hour. When Nikki asked about the situation when Earl returned to the vehicle, he reportedly said “The less you know, the better it is for you.”

Nikki also stated in the interview that she “hadn’t gotten around” to taking out fire and life insurance policies until the days leading up to the event, though she stated she did not know about the events that would occur that night.

9:00 a.m.: The trial is now in session.

7:30 a.m.: The trial of Nikki Entzel is expected to continue starting at 9:00 a.m., this morning in Burleigh County District Court, Judge Douglas Bahr presiding. This is the second week of the trial. The prosecution is still presenting its case.

Nikki Entzel is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges. Prosecutors argue Nikki Entzel, along with her alleged lover, Earl Howard, Ontario, Canada, had conspired to kill Chad Entzel for life insurance money and, after murdering him, set fire to the Entzel home with the body inside.

Investigators said Chad Entzel died from two gunshot wounds and that he was apparently killed days before the January 2, 2020 house fire.

In October 2021, Earl Howard pleaded guilty to arson, conspiracy to commit arson, conspiracy to commit murder, and conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence. In a plea deal, Howard received a 50-year sentence, but will serve 25 years. He may testify in the Entzel trial, although that is not certain.

The trial will be live-streamed through the KX website.


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